I've been awaiting this next installment for some time now... Its actually been over three years since the last Sithu Aye release! Time has absolutely flown by. Senpai III is the anime themed musical take on Progressive Metal that is now here in a longer album format. The project started out innocently as a curious experiment, mixing in the melodic styling and instruments from Japanese cartoon theme music in a jovial stride. With parts I & II the small number of tracks really wet the appetite for more and alas it comes with fifty two minutes of fresh new music across ten tracks.
Bright, warm and uplifting a constant flow of dexterous melody unfolds on an ever pacy stride, marching through its bold and colorful sound. Its metallic elements brings forth power and strength, a little groove and bounce to bolster the intensity but never to turn to anything dark. Its a cheery record of smiles and good vibes, all with an authentic emotional current. With a lack of human voice to center on the lead guitars often steps up with frequent unleashes of dazzling fretboard work, swooning with speed and technique when blazing into a solo. If not, its often a more subdued line of melody that gives the music that needed focal point. This record is all about melody though, its a unending unraveling of them which can get a little tiresome.
To pivot to criticism, I think the novelty of this idea is best served in smaller dosses for this listener. Although there is genuine mood and expression here, the style of theme music demands a lot of energy and instrumental activity. The pace is swift and a lot of notation gushes forth through a rather narrow range of ideas. Mari's New Day is one song that stands out for managing to calm the tone down and provide a little contrast but the rest of the songs are continually swept up into this whirl of dance-able energy that has most its big melodies feeling very similar to one another.
The project doesn't feel like it has many directions to go in. EDM elements drop in on a couple of tracks, dialed up a notch with intense kick drums and some lively synths but they tend to compliment the dominant narrative more so than bring something new to the mix. I really do adore this sound and have enjoyed my time with the record but it has struggled to establish more than a mood. With the narrow range these songs operate within and similarity to what came before, nothing stands out. If there is to be a forth installment I would love to hear a human voice in the mix. That would be most welcome alongside some experimentation to see where this framework can be taken. If you've not heard this project before and enjoy Anime theme music you are most likely going to lap this one up!